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Hoarding Help Message Boards : Welcome to the new board! : Any Help for the Techno-Hoarder?
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Any Help for the Techno-Hoarder?

Posted: 02 December 2020 - 04:36 PM
Well, maybe the hamfests or online interests groups will give you resources for people who want to pick through it with you, or maybe you can have a big sale out of your storage area when you get it all moved.

Or maybe you will decide your weekends are more important and donate or recycle it.

Whatever you decide I wish you luck making progress. I'm sorry I don't know enough about the electronics to give targeted advice, but I do know that no stuff in the world is worth sacrificing your health and happiness, so just keep an eye on your cost v. Reward.
Dave F
Posted: 01 December 2020 - 11:25 PM
Hi Subclinical -

Thank you for your thoughtful and considerate response. As far as your questions, a lot of what I purchased over the past several decades was either at sales (hamfests, estate sales) or online (ebay mostly). I have sold a lot on eBay and some on Craigslist, and even on rare occasions, had some people pull up in large vans and take whole lots away (that felt really good I can tell you).

As far as how long would it take to go over the collection, I suppose not long, if I could manage to stay focused and not get either distracted or discouraged/depressed by the process. Of course having help would probably make the process less stressful and take less time.

As for living long enough, well who knows? I'm trying to find someone to pay to help me, but I don't know where to find someone who is willing to do it and has the right frame of mind to stick with it long-term. Some friends have tried to help in the past but they had very little patience and wanted it over in a hour or two. That just isn't going to happen unless we're talking indiscriminate dumpster filling, and even that might all day.

I should say that I have had success in getting rid of things. I tried to start with the largest items to reduce overall clutter. I even gave away some things to first come first serve people on Craigslist, because I told myself that I had to. I won't go into the details but I'm sure I'm not the only one who has experienced the people who show up when something is free. I gave a handmade piece of furniture away that my father and I built together before he passed. I cringe a little every time I think about where it is now but I try not to think about it.

But in any case as much as I do make progress here and there, I liken the process to 'bailing out the titanic with a teaspoon' - yes, you are moving forward, but in the end will there be time left to enjoy the fruits of your labors? I would love to have my weekends go back to being weekends instead of stressing perpetually about what needs to be gotten rid of in a 48 hour time slot (when I should be resting from the stressful work week instead) and how little time I have to get it done.

I recently got a 10 by 15 storage space downtown and have been boxing things up and taking them there. I even sold a few items out of the storage once I got them there, which felt good. Maybe having them out of the house makes me see the things in a different way. I don't know - I am not giving up, but like I said I really need someone to come along side me in this, and yes, I am willing to pay the right person for it.

I appreciate your thoughts and encouragements.

Posted: 01 December 2020 - 04:54 AM
Hi Dave.

I can't tell you how to sort and distribute electronics, but I can offer you some thoughts to help you decide how you want to address the problem.

1) where would you go to look for things like what you have?

2) Realistically, how long would it take to examine every piece of electronics and list/describe/sort/transport them to that place?

3) will you live long enough to do that, and is getting the items to the "right place" really important enough to you to invest that much if your life?

4) it doesn't sound like anyone is going to help you for fun or kindness, so if you won't live long enough, is there anyone available you could pay to do the sorting and is that how you most want to spend your money?

Trying to get everything to the very best place is one of the traps hoarders fall into. While it would be lovely if there was an efficient way to circulate all the resources in the world, there is not. You do not have to be the keeper of esoteric electronics if you would prefer to use your home for something else. It sounds like trying to do everything perfectly is keeping you from doing anything at all.

I have been there and still struggle with that. What is best is just to start.

Look around, is there something you could get out of your house today? Donate, recycle, even put on Craigslist or eBay - whatever it would take to remove one thing.

You may regret it. I regret throwing many trash cans of styrofoam away last year because recycling just became available in my area. But I could not know it would be just one more year. And I needed the space to function. And honestly I can't remember how many cans it was anymore. You do the best you can, and the experience teaches you that you can handle the "mistakes" and move on. And your daily life becomes easier, which gives you energy to do other positive things.
Dave F
Posted: 30 November 2020 - 10:06 AM
Hello everyone,

I have a question that's been on my mind for many years but lately is coming to a near-crisis point.

Like many here, I have been accumulating all sorts of things for many years, but unlike most of the hoarder stories you see/read about, my stuff is a mostly on the 'atypical' side. I am an electronic technician by trade and as a hobbyist, and my accumulation of stuff tends to be 95% toward that interest. To add to that, I lost my last parent 5 years ago and had to take on a lot of stuff from the estate that still hasn't been dealt with so that the estate could be settled quickly.

I know many people who hoard get to a point where they wish they had someone to reach out to, and that's where I'm at now. My problem is that I don't know how to find help to accomplish what I'm trying to do, which is pass a lot of my collection on to others.

The problem as I see it is that someone would need to have a certain level of item-specific knowledge to do this (to be clear, I'm not talking about common household items like kitchen knives, umbrellas, ironing boards, appliances, etc) I'm talking about arcane or obscure bits of electronic or electro-mechanical assemblies, with part numbers, date codes, etc. Things that have a very specific application to a limited number of people.

I feel sometimes like someone with museum curator or hardware store experience might be my best bet. There is a lot of detail-oriented sorting and categorizing that needs to be done and the work is tedious and time-consuming.

My deepest fear is that I would hire someone to help, only to find out that they are dumping the stuff carelessly into boxes and carting off to a landfill or something like that. I realize you can't save everything but I would like to do what I can in the time I have left to get this lot sorted to the best of my knowledge and ability.

I work 60+ hours a week and live alone in a house that I own. I have nobody to help me, no family or friends nearby, and the complexity of this endeavor defeats me every time I try to attack the problem. I try to narrow my focus but there is so much stuff everywhere that it's impossible for me to do so. As you can imagine, this year's shut-down situation hasn't helped any either.

I realize this is a lot of personal exposition but I'm at my wits end and would like to be liberated from this situation so I can get out from under a mess that I've made of my life.

If I could do it myself, I would have by now, so I'm admitting I need help. I've been told that's a long way toward the solution, but now the issue is finding someone in my area I can work with who can help in the certain way the situation calls for.

Any advice or assistance sincerely appreciated!

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